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A Reunion of 3DS Fans Helps Them Rediscover the Joy of StreetPass after a Long Time

By Weilin Li
Apr. 14, 2023 updated 03:40

A group of Nintendo 3DS fans sat in a crowded room, where at first, they were hesitant to speak to each other due to their unfamiliarity. But when they encountered each other in their Streetpass Mii Plaza, the conversation naturally started: “Hi, I StreetPassed you. Do you also love playing Monster Hunter?"

Organized by game media YYS, the '3DS StreetPass Gathering' event took place in Beijing on March 25th, bringing together players who share a passion for the classic console. For many fans, this was the first time in the over a decade since the console's release that they had encountered so many players on their StreetPass. It was like invisibly shaking hands and being bound by a timeless and romantic code.

At the event organized by YYS, players exhibited their 3DS consoles.At the event organized by YYS, players exhibited their 3DS consoles.

StreetPass is a functionality that allows wireless communication between 3DS in close proximity. But the effectiveness of StreetPass has been diminished by the very limited users still actively playing the 3DS. The gathering organized by YYS provided a unique opportunity for many players to fulfill their long-awaited wishes and share their love for the console and its games.

For instance, Li Zihui, a mother, brought both of her lovely daughters to the event. The two girls were pleasantly surprised to find many new friends.

Li's family often played Switch games such as Animal Crossing and Overcooked, but they also frequently had fun on their 3DS consoles. She even gave her two daughters their own 3DS consoles as gifts.

A photo of Li Zihui's two daughters at the gathering.A photo of Li Zihui's two daughters at the gathering.

The mother’s love for classic consoles began when she was young. In high school, her open-minded father bought her a PSP at her request. She played games like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on it. Then, after she found out that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 4 had been released on the NDS, she purchased a Japanese version of the NDS Lite. “Even now, I treasure it in my drawer,” she said.

Her love for classic consoles and Nintendo has passed on to her daughters, who now frequently play games such as Rhythm Tengoku, Nintendogs, Cooking Mama, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on their 3DS consoles.

Li Zihui’s daughters played games on Nintendo 3DSLi Zihui’s daughters played games on Nintendo 3DS

Although some Chinese parents may be concerned about their children spending too much time gaming, this mother believes that she grew up with games as her companions and sees them as a positive influence in her life.

“So, I don't reject the idea of children playing games.” She said, “With the development of technology, children are exposed to screens at an increasingly young age. Instead of letting them be influenced by junk games, it's better for me to guide them and introduce them to truly enjoyable games so that they can experience pure happiness from a young age.”

The mother's experience showcased the heartwarming moments that the 3DS brings to devoted players, for whom the high quality of many Nintendo games became a source of nostalgia.

Motivated by this, the event saw a significant turnout of fans, drawing in people of all ages, including one 7-year-old player. However, the gathering also had a sorrowful tinge, as it was held only three days before the 3DS eShop would retire.

The Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan in 2011 and became a popular console until around 2019. Its dual screens and the ability to display 3D effects on the screen without special glasses, in addition to StreetPass, were very impressive features. However, the sales of the 3DS declined following the increase in sales of the Switch. In February 2022, Nintendo announced that the eShop closure would come at the end of the 3DS's "natural life cycle" and would take place on March 28th. After that date, players could no longer purchase digital games from the eShop.

This news caused some people who had never had the opportunity to try a 3DS to attend the event to make up for lost time.

Player MMBB said they had only played 3DS games on emulators, and their first game was Kirby: Triple Deluxe. Due to a lack of leisure time and a limited number of acquaintances who owned the console, they never had the chance to purchase a 3DS. They were afraid that they would never have the opportunity to experience it.

At the YYS event, players shared their knowledge about the 3DS and its games with each other.At the YYS event, players shared their knowledge about the 3DS and its games with each other.

“It's impressive how Nintendo managed to create such a durable console a decade ago that still provides an enjoyable experience today. Even the pre-installed AR game on the system was a hit among the attendees. This time, I had a great time playing Kirby on the 3DS, and it really made the event a good experience,” the player said.

“My friend who came with me experienced StreetPass for the first time in his life, despite owning the console for years.”

After returning home, MMBB immediately purchased a 3DS. The fan's excitement was justified as the special event felt like a time machine, allowing players to relive fond memories and celebrate their love for retro gaming. It also provided an opportunity for players to connect with others who share the same passion. Despite the closure of the eShop for 3DS consoles, it's certain that the experience with the classic console will not fade away anytime soon.

Source: YYS